There’s an old saying about ‘the best laid plans’ which in simple terms translates to something akin to ‘no matter how well you think you’ve got things figured out, something unexpected comes along and ruins it’. There’s also another old saying about lemons and lemonade. Today we drank lemonade (but not koolaid...cause that’s an entirely different and scary saying...yikes!). But I digress...
Today we had planned to do 2 things in Copenhagen. First a 3 hour free walking tour which departed at 11 am from City Hall Square. I wasn’t entirely certain how we would get to the meeting location from the cruise terminal, but then, I didn’t even know which cruise ship terminal we would dock at, so it was kind of difficult to plan that part out. Second on the day’s agenda was a canal boat cruise with a specific company that was advertised as being less expensive but just as good as all the others. Most of you know just how much I love ‘a deal’.
Last evening we learned which cruise terminal we would be docking at...the absolute farthest away from city centre...and that there would be a free shuttle provided by the city of Copenhagen to take us into the city. And most of you know that the only thing I like better than ‘a deal’ is ‘FREE’.
Seeing that we were scheduled to dock at 10 am, and the shuttle trip is 20 minutes, and if we are down in the Piazza and ready to disembark right at 10 and onto the first shuttle...well, according to my math skills, Bob’s yer uncle! And when we learned at 8:30 am that our arrival time was being moved back to 9:30, I’m figuring we’re golden.
And this would be where my plans sort of became lemons. I didn’t factor in a couple of things, or more accurately, a couple of hundred things. I was really counting on my late sleeping ‘old Brits’, so imagine my surprise when there were about 200 people ahead of us in line to disembark. No worries. Still doable. Until we got off the ship and the port area was an absolute zoo because only one gate had been opened to disembark all the ship’s excursion people as well as the independent excursion people. There were lines for several buses for the ship’s excursions. There was a line for a Hop On/Hop Off bus tour that was leaving from the terminal and there was a loooooong line for the free shuttle. With 3 ships in the port that we were docked at, and all with similar crowds, shuttles, and tours, you can well imagine what the traffic was like enroute to the city centre. The 20 minute bus ride quickly became...or should I say SLOWLY became a 40 minute bus ride.
So, the walking tour was out. No problem really, cause I’m feeling thirsty for lemonade. Fortunately, we stumbled upon the canal boat company that I wanted to travel with and had an absolutely lovely 60 minute tour. From there we did some wandering and a wee bit of shopping, and then returned to the ship, both feeling a bit disillusioned with Copenhagen.
Why the disillusionment, you ask? Well, for a place that takes the time to arrange free shuttle services to transport their tourist population from the cruise ships to the city, they really seemed to drop the ball after that. We walked and wandered and looked high and low for a tourist information office or even a booth for that matter. Somewhere that we could find a city map. Nothing, nada. I recalled that the shopping district was just beside the City Hall Square where we would have met our walking tour had scheduling permitted. We asked directions in a coffee shop to the City Hall. Can you believe the person working in the coffee shop asked Kier “What’s a ‘City Hall’?” Enough said.
I generally have an excellent sense of direction, but in Copenhagen it was totally absent. Too much lemonade, I guess! Oh well, we’re off to Skagen, Denmark tomorrow...a place that is so small that it should be impossible to get lost in. We’ll just see about that!!